Inspector Ashwin Chopra wakes up on his retirement day to learn that he has inherited a baby elephant. Heart disease has forced him to retire early from the Mumbai police department. Inspector Chopra’s wife, Poppy, names the sad baby elephant Ganesha. Without Poppy’s knowledge, Ashwin takes to the streets of his beloved Mumbai to solve a murder leftover from his final day of work. He brings Ganesha with him, lifting the little pachyderm’s spirits. Put down April’s garden catalogs and pick up The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan. Be captivated by India through this smart and cozy mystery. Available at Barnes and Noble.
-Maureen Millea Smith is a librarian at the Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist.
Call me a dreamer, but every April, I think the snow will immediately disappear, gorgeous tree blossoms and spring flowers will appear and temps will hit 70 degrees daily. Yet somehow my visions of bright sunny flowers and warming sunbeams are defeated with the whip of winter’s tail end. This is when I tend to turn my senses toward wines that give me the hope of the new season. I recommend you do the same. Spanish gem, Coto de Gomariz’s The Flower and the Bee Treixadura from Ribeiro is just the answer to keep your spring visions abound. Fresh minerality & sunny yellow colored glints with soft kisses of fresh peach, melon and apricot make this one floral beauty for your Minnesota spring palate. Not to mention, it’s a gorgeous white sipper perfect for those afternoons when you’re mapping out your spring gardening plans. Available at France 44.
-Leslee Miller is a certified sommelier and owner of local wine consulting firm, Amusee.
Phil Nusbaum is a name known to many as host of the radio show, Bluegrass Saturday Morning on KBEM, Jazz 88 FM. He is also a well-known banjoist, and has a new CD called The Dark Before the Storm that includes traditional banjo tunes as well as original compositions. The title song depicts the heavy air of an impending storm, while “Wind Chill” speaks for itself, Nusbaum says. This CD includes the familiar, “Limehouse Blues,” and features Nusbaum’s brother Harvey, a great guitarist from New York, on a couple of Tin Pan Alley tunes. Nusbaum plays five-string banjo and was inducted into America’s Old Time Music Hall of Fame at the 40th annual convention of the National Traditional Country Music Association in September. CD available at Amazon.com, iTunes and Homestead Pickin Parlor.
-Patty Peterson, award winning vocalist and Jazz 88, KBEM radio host.